The widow of a former Walmart greeter is fighting the retail giant in court over her husband’s life insurance.
Elmer Chelf worked for the company for 16 years.
He died at the age of 80 in 2016 and now a federal appeals court reinstated a portion of a case filed by the widow of a Walmart greeter.
The corporation is accused of canceling her husband’s life insurance policy and overcharging him for disability insurance fees, according to the lawsuit.
In 2017, Mrs. Chelf filed a lawsuit in federal court in Louisville against Walmart and Prudential, which underwrote Walmart’s insurance benefits.
Walmart and Prudential were both accused of canceling a $25,000 extra-coverage insurance without notice before her husband died, according to the lawsuit.
Walmart is accused of failing to provide information regarding numerous possibilities for keeping the policy current, including using his unused vacation time to cover the premium, as well as the fact that he had been overcharged for 18 months of disability insurance.
After the judge dismissed Mrs. Chelf’s claims against Walmart, Prudential reached an agreement with her. It was not a party to the appeal.
Mrs. Chelf’s claims that Walmart breached its fiduciary obligations by mishandling plan assets by “misappropriating” disability premiums instead of applying them to the life insurance policy were revived by the 6th Circuit.
It affirmed the dismissal of her nondisclosure claims but said the court can decide whether she can modify them with an updated complaint on remand.
Circuit Judge Jane B. Stranch wrote for the appeals court.
That defense was unavailable to Walmart because it protects only those “who have no power to make any decisions as to plan policy, interpretations, practices or procedures” from being held to the high standard of care required of fiduciaries
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